Patent Requirements

Patents Requirements: Novelty and Non-obviousness

Under U.S. Patent Law, a person cannot obtain a patent if someone else has already made an identical invention. Simply put, the invention must be new. An invention that is not new or novel is said to be "anticipated by the prior art." An invention that is "anticipated" is not entitled to patent protection. To anticipate a claim in a patent application, each and every element in the claim must be present in a single item of prior art. A patent examiner may not combine two or more items of prior art to prove anticipation.

In addition to novelty, the invention claimed in the patent application must be "non-obvious" to a person of ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made. Unlike anticipation, which allows consideration of only one item of prior art, obviousness may be shown by considering more than one item of prior art.

Schwartz Law Firm, P.C. regularly represents corporations, business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors in obtaining patents, and arguing the issues of novelty and non-obviousness during the examination process.

Schwartz Law Firm is based in Charlotte, North Carolina with clients throughout the United States and internationally. Its founder and owner, Jeff Schwartz, has prepared, filed, and prosecuted more than 500 patent applications in a broad range of technologies including Internet applications, computer software, medical devices and processes, mechanical devices, and innovative business methods. Jeff is a registered patent attorney, and has been selected by his peers as one of North Carolina's leading intellectual property lawyers, according to separate surveys taken by Law & Politics and Business North Carolina magazine.

For more information regarding the requirements for patentability, please contact Schwartz Law Firm to schedule a consultation.

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Schwartz Law Firm, P.C.

SouthPark Towers
6100 Fairview Road, Suite 1135
Charlotte, NC 28210

phone: 704-325-6099

fax: 704-552-1866

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